The changing role of BDMs – Marketwatch

The changing role of BDMs – Marketwatch


However, the role of a BDM appears to have evolved somewhat over the years.

We asked this week’s Marketwatch panel how the responsibilities of a BDM have changed over the years and what the position means today.


Gareth daviesGareth Davies, director of South Coast Mortgage Services

Firstly, I’m sure most, if not all, brokers will agree that a good BDM is invaluable to your business.

Having someone who knows you, knows how you operate, and understands the type of business you submit is vital to aiding both the broker and lender to collectively help more clients.

Unfortunately, there are just not enough of these around.

I can count on one hand our stand out BDMs; those who strive in helping us when we need it and do whatever it takes to try and find solutions when we may have an issue or an unusual underwriting case.

The role of the BDM has changed since the pre-financial crisis days and sadly I think a lot are being let down by their employers.

They’ve been stripped of the power they once had, and the areas they cover are ever increasing, which stretches them to their limit.

One of my BDMs mentioned to me only last week that they sometimes struggle to resolve issues quickly because they’re constantly stuck behind the wheel of their car, unable to open a laptop or make a meaningful call.

In the past a BDM had a mandate and could help make judgement calls on cases, perhaps when you needed some common sense applied.

Some now don’t even have the power to escalate a case and are almost just walking/talking criteria bulletins.

I’m afraid that doesn’t particularly help us as brokers.

That’s not the fault of the BDM but short-sightedness by the lender and surely does more harm to them than good.


Ian Wilson (002)Ian Wilson, head of Halifax Intermediaries

In the recent past, the role of the BDM has evolved from predominantly helping brokers place business to providing intermediaries with a greater understanding of the requirements to get the best outcomes for their customers, helping them trade appropriately and keeping their business safe.

Our BDM network provides the knowledge, commitment and support brokers often need to develop their business.

The long-term relationships that BDMs build on a daily basis with intermediaries feed directly into how we design our products and services.

This means we can base what we do around brokers’ needs, responding as they continue to change, and constantly identifying ways that we can do more to ensure our service retains its excellent standard.

As the industry landscape continues to change and as more complexities creep in, BDMs face the market head on with the answers, information and support.

We recognise the challenges faced by people taking that first step onto the property ladder, moving home or remortgaging.

And BDMs bring a greater understanding of lending criteria, how to place cases successfully and how to help demonstrate effective use of our affordability model and decision in principle (DIP) process.

Their expertise also helps us to pinpoint areas where we can proactively improve processes – including enhancing areas where technology can save brokers time and effort, and how we keep them up to date.

Our BDMs lead a programme of regular face-to-face workshops focused on industry changes including MMR, MCD and more recently on GDPR; reaching thousands of brokers up and down the country.

We have increased our number of telephone BDMs over the past 18 months, trebling in size, to back up our BDM team for times for when they are away from the business or in roadshows, workshops or on holiday.


Nicci peggNicci Pegg, mortgage adviser at Prolific Mortgage Finance

I see the role of a BDM being more important than ever.

In these times of constantly changing legislation and lending policies, they are the ones on top of their specific criteria and are key in helping brokers navigate updates.

Reflecting back on more than 10 years as a broker, placing business was so much more straightforward when I came into the industry.

It used to the be the case that you would know the lender you would place the case with almost before you’d finished your fact find, and also had the main rates committed to memory, so with a swift recheck and affordability calculation the deal was done.

Not so any more.

Clients’ needs are often more complex, there are more lenders than ever and with criteria varying so much between them.

The ability to talk a case over with your BDM at the outset is crucial to ensure the case is placed right first time and then progresses smoothly to meet client expectations.

With over 90 lenders and some 12,000 products at our disposal we are never going to be on top of it all.

Regular visits from BDMs to chat over USPs and criteria are still so important.

I couldn’t count how many times I’ve seen cases placed during BDM meetings that may have otherwise ended up elsewhere, potentially with higher rates, because of a missed email informing of policy changes.

In other cases, it’s because brokers have simply been unable to drill down on sourcing as specifically as would be needed without that expert to turn to.

Once cases are in the system, BDMs then become the conduit that links us to the underwriters to help deal with anything that crops up and ensures that the case progresses as smoothly as possible.

In conclusion our BDM’s are worth their weight in gold and I couldn’t imagine being able to provide the service that I do without them.

A client once told me ‘women can’t be trusted with money’ – Marketwatch

A client once told me ‘women can’t be trusted with money’ – Marketwatch


Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8 tomorrow, we asked three brokers to share their experiences and thoughts on working in the market as a woman.



Hayley-Louise-OReilly-Hayley-Louise O’Reilly, learning and development manager at broker Coreco

I love being a woman in the broker market.

I have been in the finance world since I was 18 years old and in those nine years I have seen such a massive change in the part women play.

I remember when I first started there would be frequent comments from clients and introducers that I was too young or surely I couldn’t be an adviser as I am a woman.

I even had a client refuse to continue with an appointment because he felt “women couldn’t be trusted with money”.

The way I overcame those hurdles have got me to where I am today in my career and I have worked hard to ensure I made my mark in this industry and prove them wrong.

However, the challenges I have faced certainly do not outweigh the benefits and rewards of the role.

I have been given such amazing support and being pushed out of my comfort zone when I was a new adviser really helped my progress, while being supported and treated as equal to my colleagues from the BDMs, my employer and my network.

Being put forward for an award at the British Mortgage Awards was a huge compliment and showed that a strong work ethic and motivation to succeed will be recognised and ultimately rewarded when I won.

This gave me the confidence to say I am good at my job.

Every year since, more and more women are shortlisted for these awards and it is amazing to see.

I am very fortunate to work within a company that empowers women and gives the same opportunities to anyone regardless of who you are.

Honesty and respect go a long way and if you can master that, your gender shouldn’t be an issue.

Nicci pegg
Nicci Pegg, mortgage adviser at Prolific Mortgage Finance

I read an article the other day that asked: how can it be that girls consistently outperform boys in schools and yet, by the time they reach adulthood and enter into the professional arena, they earn less, occupy fewer leadership roles and generally have  lower status and less influence?

This led me to think about our industry, the women I have met that have achieved senior positions within it, and also the role of brokers.

I have met some very inspirational and successful women, Esther Dijkstra,  Maria Harris and Dawn Mirfin, to name a few, all of whom have achieved senior roles in their respective fields in what is still, to the most part, a very male dominated industry.

Looking at brokers, there seems to be more women now than when I came into the industry some 12 years ago, but I am surprised that there aren’t more of us.

To me it’s such a natural fit for women looking for a customer-focused career in finance, providing sound robust advice, coupled with empathy and understanding that, in my opinion, is a very natural female trait.

The potential for self-employment allows greater flexibility in terms of location and hours, but more importantly having the opportunity to grow your own business within a fast moving and dynamic industry is exciting, challenging and rewarding in equal measures.

I do, however, strongly believe that they key to success for anyone is to appreciate that no one group can do on its own.

Women’s place in the world of work improves not by excluding men, but by working together, all bringing our own unique qualities to create an industry that welcomes, celebrates and benefits from our differences.


adele turtonAdele Turton, head of Manchester Money Commercial
I think there are many prominent, strong-minded women at all levels of financial services.

There are more men than women at the highest level, but I think that is because historically financial services has been a male dominated profession and it takes time for that to change.

I have been self-employed for over 10 years, so I haven’t experienced gender inequality.

But I tend to believe that everyone is in charge of their own destiny; women have the power to affect gender diversity, by accepting nothing less.

Women today can decide what they want from their careers and life and obtain their goals.

To be taken seriously in any situation you need to take yourself seriously and respect what you bring to the table – but also learn how to laugh at yourself.

There is a saying that for a woman to be recognised as an equal to a man, she must be twice as good.

And I have experienced this personally.

But when a woman is as good will she excel beyond a man? Think the jury is out on that one.

However, women bring many good things to any profession, and I really do believe they do to financial services too.

From a personal point of view, as a working mum, my advice would be to keep balance in your life.

I think for too long we have been told we can have it all, but no one ever said how.

To underestimate what that means, is a big mistake, one I made myself.

You’ve got to have balance.

Be kind to yourself and work out what’s important and structure your life to that, then I don’t think you can go far wrong.